Trading Tradeshows for Virtual Events With Lochinvar

Lochinvar’s key tradeshow, the 2021 AHR Expo, had been canceled due to continued ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, the company needed to create a moment in time, even in absence of the AHR Expo, that would help them achieve the same impact as past events. Virtual events were nothing new after over a year of staying at home, but how could Lochinvar set theirs apart? That’s where we came in, excited to partner with their teams to create a virtual event that stood out from the rest.

A Key Product Launch—Without a Booth

 The AHR Expo serves as the premier moment Lochinvar leverages to generate excitement around their latest innovations, announce new products and generate leads as they connect with contractors, engineers and distributors. In many ways the company’s calendar centers on AHR, as they are typically the biggest booth and are routinely expected to be the largest draw at the show.

Lochinvar also had a significant product advancement to launch this year—the CREST Commercial Water Heater with Hellcat™ Combustion Technology. CREST, an existing product, combined with new technology that makes real-time adjustments to external environments, would be the first of its kind in a commercial space. This wasn’t simply an update—it was a true game-changer for commercial spaces, such as baseball stadiums or hospitals, that now would not have to rely on additional maintenance hours for monitoring and tweaks.

Additionally, Lochinvar was set to announce its sustainability initiative, STRIDE, designed to mitigate the consumption of energy required to heat water and reduce greenhouse gas emissions over time.

With some big announcements—and business goals—on the line, Lochinvar turned to GS&F for a plan that would be just as exciting and worthwhile as a visit to their booth at an in-person AHR Expo.

Putting Industry Leaders First

 As our teams considered how to bring a virtual event for Lochinvar to life, we returned again and again to Lochinvar’s status—they’re simply the best in the industry, from their products and people to the technological innovations behind them. With this in mind, the team decided to put the company’s experts directly in front of Lochinvar’s customers to speak to them.

Instead of speaking with a sales rep at the booth, contractors, distributors and engineers would get to hear the experts talk about the products they helped design. They’d get front-row access to the brains behind the innovation. To let the experts shine and to create a look and feel on par with Lochinvar’s industry leader status, we’d ensure the event felt simple but premium and exclusive with inspiration from TED Talks and Apple product launches. This approach became the driving idea behind the Lochinvar 2021 Reveal Event.

To promote the event, we turned to an integrated approach with paid, earned and owned media. Our creative team developed paid media banners, paid and organic social ads, a hype video and press kits, which were sent to a number of key players in the industry. As the event neared, we also used email campaigns to invite viewers, remind them to join the event, and add it to their calendars. After the event we followed up with a quick note of thanks, a link to watch the event again, and complete responses to questions that were covered during the event.

Setting the Stage and Raising the Curtain

Once we’d decided to focus on Lochinvar’s leaders in innovation, our production team got to work. Renting a stage space in the Nashville area, we recorded the event with six cameras rolling the entire time to achieve a premium look and feel with a variety of different types of footage. After the initial shoot, the produced video took two weeks to cut and finalize.

When it came time for the event our team hosted the live feed that allowed us to track metrics, such as attendees and how long they watched. Though the talk was pre-recorded, the chat feature allowed viewers to interact and respond in real time. Two teams at Lochinvar monitored questions and responded as they came in.

This engagement revealed an exciting benefit to virtual events—often, viewers come in already eager and ready to respond to what they see, whereas tradeshows can make it easier for visitors to have minimal engagement as they browse booths. Our team even heard of groups of viewers setting up watch parties to hear the latest from Lochinvar!

A New Way Forward

By the numbers, the Lochinvar 2021 Reveal Event generated outstanding engagement and registration:

2,550 total registrants

2,700 new users accessed the event site

1,200 individual devices accessed the video within the site

At least 5 countries represented by viewers

Tradeshows represent the way the industry has communicated new products and innovations for years, but after the 2021 Reveal Event Lochinvar expressed excitement for new opportunities to come. We’re all about partnering with ambitious brands like Lochinvar who don’t want to stick to the status quo, and this virtual event helped them take the next step toward becoming the company they want to be.

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